Don’t fall…jump. That’s the message from professional rock climber Nina Williams’ TEDxCU talk “How to let go of failure and jump into your fall

  • “When you’re climbing a wall, climbers tend to choose the hardest way on purpose…Climbers choose the hardest way because, to some degree, we seek out that failure. We know that we’re going to fall. We expect it. And we know that it’s going to be scary. Which makes sense. A fear of falling is a natural human instinct. But it is also a skill that can be trained and practiced. If you just take a few small falls at first. Go into some bigger ones. And learn that when you fall, you’ll be okay.”

Williams focuses on optimizing the upside by increasing the challenge that entails the inevitability of falling, but also notes that embracing falling can minimize the downside when falls happen. Fighting a fall can result in a worse plummeting than embracing the inevitable and focusing on managing it. In the sport of sky-diving free-falling (the ultimate falling), one of the first and most important things they teach you is how to fall (ie. well, how to land). Also, in martial arts (especially the ones that focus on “throws” like judo), the skill of falling is one of the first lessons.

  • “The minute you let go, even though you are moving backwards, at least you are moving. Towards another chance to try again.”